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By Stuart Dybek

Fire ran horrified

from its ashes.


In the afterglow,

cinematic shadows fled


from flesh and blood.

Scars appeared,


followed years later

by their wounds.


Blinks of red

dinged relentlessly,


but there was

nowhere to stop


for the train

pulling its wreckage.


  • Living

Poet Bio

Stuart Dybek
Stuart Dybek is a masterful short story writer as well as poet. The qualities that distinguish his fiction—a strong connection to place, particularly his native Chicago, childhood nostalgia tinged with irony, a meandering narrative pace, and an ability to find beauty amid urban blight—also characterize much of his poetry. Few writers have captured street life as movingly as Dybek. The son of a Polish immigrant, he has published two critically acclaimed books of short stories, The Coast of Chicago and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, as well as a collection of linked stories: I Sailed with Magellan. He teaches at Western Michigan University and lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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